We begin by asking which credit reporting company is best overall. Is it Experian, Equifax, or Transunion that comes out on top? The answer depends on your perspective. Lenders and consumers have vastly different definitions of quality.
We chose to define best (highest quality) as the credit bureau most closely meeting the standards of accuracy, the speed of updates, ease of dispute handling, and data security.
The credit bureau that provides the most accurate report is the one closest to being free from error or defect; consistent with a standard; or faithfully representing or describing the truth.
A common courtroom oath provides an outline for balancing precision.
- The truth – is the information displayed on the report free from error?
- The whole truth – does everything about a consumer appear in the report?
- Nothing but the truth – does every item on the report belong to that person?
Lenders and consumers view the accuracy and quality issue very differently.
- Lenders choose what bureau to use based primarily on the amount of negative information gathered and presented that could pertain to an applicant. Banks and lenders are predisposed to avoid large losses via default. This factor varies most by geography.
- Consumers view the accuracy issue differently. They want incorrect negative marks removed quickly (faster updates) through a convenient process (easiest disputes). Consumers are predisposed to avoid rejection.
The credit bureau that properly safeguards the sensitive financial data of hundreds of millions of consumers is most secure. A data breach could expose the entire country to identity theft risks.
Equifax was hacked sometime during 2017. In September of that year, they announced that a security breach might have compromised the social security numbers, birth dates, and other personal information of about 143 million U.S. consumers.
Does this mean that Experian and TransUnion are better with their data security? We do not know. We simply know that the hackers penetrated the Equifax network first.
How long good credit information stays on your credit report
The good news is, good credit stays on your report for much longer than bad credit does. Any credit account that was paid off on-time and is in good-standing will stay on your report for upwards of 20 years.
Sometimes, people believe it’s bad to have past credit history on your account for a long period of time. This isn’t the case. Rather, this is exactly the type of information you do want on your account as it shows a lender you have lots of financial experience and are responsible to manage a loan. A long, positive and on-going credit history is what you should strive for on your credit report.
What type of credit information shows up on your credit report
Whether good or bad, your credit report contains a large amount of information about your past spending and repayment habits. The two credit bureaus in Canada, Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada, have access to this information and use it to determine your creditworthiness — or your credit score.
Here’s the information that shows up on your report:
- Credit transactions: credit cards and lines of credit
- Secured loans: mortgages, car leases or personal loans
- Bank accounts: closed chequing and savings accounts
- Legal judgements: lawsuits or court rulings
- Debt collection: if sent to a collection agency
- Credit inquiries: read our post How Do Credit Checks Impact Your Credit Score to learn more
- Registered items: a form of security interest granted over an item of property
- Consumer proposals: the legal agreement between you and a lender